Aashish Vashishtha

Earlier in the 2018 Assembly polls, as many as 22 candidates had declared criminal charges against them.

Ahead of the Tripura Assembly election, out of the 259 candidates which are contesting on the 60 seats, 16 per cent of candidates (41) have declared criminal charges against them, while 17 per cent consisting of 45 candidates are crorepatis which were 12 per cent (35) in the previous election.

Earlier in the 2018 Assembly polls, as many as 22 candidates had declared criminal charges against them. The Tripura Assembly election for the 60 seats is scheduled to be held on February 16 and the counting of votes will begin on March 2.

In comparison to the 17 candidates in 2018 with 6 per cent, 21 candidates out of the 259 candidates have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, according to an analysis of their self-sworn affidavits.

54 per cent (7), 30 per cent (13) of the 43 CPI-M candidates, and 16 per cent (9) of the 55 BJP nominees, of the total 13 Congress candidates, have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Tripura Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) conducted an analysis in which it was found that 8 candidates have declared cases related to attempts to murder (IPC Section-307) against themselves.

The analysis also brings out the role of money power in Assembly election as all the major political parties gave tickets to the wealthy candidates. 31 per cent (17) out of 55 BJP candidates, 46 per cent (6) out of 13 Congress candidates, and 16 per cent (7) out of 43 CPI-M candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore among the major parties. Each candidate contesting the election has an average net worth of Rs 86.37 lakhs. In 2018, 297 candidates had an average value of assets of Rs 46.92 lakhs.

In terms of major political parties of Tripura, the average asset per candidate for the 55 BJP candidates is Rs 1.86 crore, compared to Rs 2.20 crore for the 13 Congress candidates, Rs 53.94 lakh for the 43 CPI-M candidates, and Rs 78.57 lakh for the 42 Tipra Motha Party candidates.

The analysis also disclosed the educational qualifications of the candidates which were between 5th and 12th standard for 54 per cent (139) of the total of 259 candidates, while 45 per cent (116) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above.

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